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By LARRY GOFFINET
TELL CITY—Mike Page now has something in common with Brett Favre, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
All were highly successful in their athletic endeavors, and now all have unretired more than once.
Page coached Tell City’s girls swim team its first 30 years—winning six sectionals and five conference titles—before retiring in 2010.
He came back for the 2011-12 season after his successor, Lewis Anderson, was called back to active duty in the U.S. Navy.
Now Page has come back a second time to replace Angie Spinner, who resigned last summer to concentrate on getting a master’s degree in moderate to severe special education.
Page hasn’t returned to a ready-made powerhouse, though.
“This is the most inexperienced team I’ve ever coached here,” he said Monday.
He has 14 girls on the team “right now and we’ve got the possibility of three divers coming out,” he said. They could join the team as soon as the cheerleaders finish their fall competitions.
Of the 14 swimmers, only two are seniors and one of them, Cat Diaz, is a first-year swimmer. The four juniors also include one new swimmer.
None of the returnees placed in the top 11 in any individual event in the Jasper sectional last year.
Page said freestyle races should be the team’s strongest.
Senior Derrian Zabel and Kassi Peter and Sydney Goffinet return in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles.
Bailey Powell returns in the 200 and 500 frees and will probably be joined in both by Samantha Allen.
“I like her stroke,” Page said of Allen. He also noted that he coached Allen’s mother, Amy Goffinet, in high school.
Sophomore Sydney Brown returns in the 100 backstroke and could be joined by newcomers Maggie Kellems and Mary Grace Alvey.
Claire Bishop returns in the 100 butterfly and Page hopes to have Brown join her.
Brown “has been doing a real good job in practice,” said Page. “She can just about swim anything.”
Sophomore Madison Schuetter returns in the 100 breaststroke. Candidates to join her are freshman Sydney Burton and Diaz, who “has a real nice breaststroke,” said Page.
Bishop and Schuetter are the top candidates for the 200 individual medley.
The 200 medley relay will probably feature Bishop on fly, Brown on back, Schuetter on breaststroke, and Zabel or Peter on free.
Peter and Zabel “will definitely be on the 200 free relay because they’re our two fastest sprinters,” said Page.
The rest of that relay and the 400 free relay have not been decided.
Zabel and Powell return from Tell City’s 200 free relay that placed fourth in the sectional last year.
Tell City finished third in the PAC last year behind Heritage Hills and Southridge, whom Page expects to be the two favorites again this year.
“We’ll probably be fighting it out for third place with Gibson Southern and Pike Central,” he said.
The Marksmen were sixth in the 11-team sectional last year, and with their inexperience it will be hard to climb much higher.
“If we get hot and we swim well, maybe we can be in the top five,” said Page. “I really do think we’re going to improve a lot.”